’Twas the Night Before Christmas appears in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 on this single-sided, single-layered DVD. Due to those dimensions, the image has NOT been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Night previously appeared as a bonus feature on the same disc as Frosty’s Winter Wonderland. Frankly, it looked pretty weak there, so I hoped this “Remastered Deluxe Edition” would provide improvements.
Unfortunately, the 2010 disc still looked mediocre at best. Sharpness tended to be average. Most shots demonstrated decent delineation, but the show never looked especially concise. More than a few instances of softness appeared, so general definition was lackluster.
I noticed no issues with jagged edges or shimmering, and edge haloes weren’t a factor. Source flaws became a moderate distraction. General specks and dust cropped up on a fairly consistent basis throughout the show. These weren’t heavy, but they became a minor nuisance.
Colors seemed acceptable but not much better. The hues tended to look flat; they weren’t unattractive, but they lacked vivacity, a factor that became especially noticeable given the warm holiday-oriented palette. Blacks were fine, but shadows seemed thick. Low-light shots tended to be dense and not very visible. This wasn’t an awful presentation, but it barely earned a “C-“.
More problems accompanied the drab monaural soundtrack. Speech lacked concision, as the lines tended to be brittle and sibilant; I understood dialogue, but those aspects sounded rough much of the time. Music and effects seemed lackluster at best. They failed to deliver any punch or power whatsoever. While they weren’t distorted or problematic, they simply had no range on display. This was an eminently mediocre mix.
Only one notable extra pops up here: an animated comic book called Christmas: A Global Holiday. It runs eight minutes, 50 seconds and provides a slightly glib lesson on holiday celebrations from all over the world. It should prove moderately informative for kids.
The disc opens with ads for Peanuts Holiday Collection and Classic Christmas Favorites. It also includes trailers for Lego Harry Potter and How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
I remember ’Twas the Night Before Christmas fondly from my youth, and the special still holds up pretty well 36 years after its debut. The show delivers a charming, enjoyable little fable. Unfortunately, this DVD doesn’t serve it well. It gives us somewhat problematic picture and audio along with only minor supplements.
I like Night, but I can’t recommend this flawed release. If you want to own the show, either dig up a used copy of the out-of-print Classic Christmas Favorites or grab the still-in-print Frosty’s Winter Wonderland. The latter sells for less than $10 and is a much better deal than this disc. Even if Night looked/sounded good here, $20 for one 24-minute show is pricey; given the problems with the presentation, you definitely should avoid the “Deluxe Edition” and grab one of the other options instead.